Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
Posted on behalf of Greg Coleman Law on Jun 20, 2017 in Medical Malpractice
A mistake during a medical procedure can lead to severe consequences and have a devastating impact on a victim.
Greg Coleman Law’s Knoxville medical malpractice attorneys can help you understand what counts as medical negligence and when you are entitled to file a claim. Do not hesitate to contact us to learn more.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional provides substandard care that causes the patient to suffer harm.
However, simply because you did not obtain the outcome you wanted from your medical procedure, does not mean you have experienced medical malpractice. There are specific elements that must have been present during your treatment for you to have a medical malpractice case:
Before you can bring a medical malpractice claim, you must establish that a doctor-patient relationship existed between you and the medical practitioner that treated you. This is most often established during your first appointment with the doctor.
This creates a professional agreement that makes the practitioner liable for your safety and obligates him or her to provide quality care.
Breach of Duty
The next element in a medical malpractice claim is to prove the doctor’s action or inaction breached his or her duty to provide you with care that meets the standards of the medical community.
A breach of duty occurs when a doctor fails to provide the level of care a doctor with similar training and experience would have in a similar situation.
Your next step is to show that your injury or worsened condition was a direct result of the doctor’s breach of duty.
Although this step can be difficult, our attorneys will work to prove your injury or worsened condition occurred because of your doctor’s care and treatment.
We will gather evidence, such as medical records that show your condition before your treatment, to prove a connection exists between your injury and the substandard treatment you received.
The final element you need to bring a medical malpractice claim is to show you suffered damages because of the doctor’s negligence.
These damages can include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering you have endured because of the harm caused by the doctor’s negligence.
Types of Medical Malpractice
There are several types of medical negligence claims that can be brought against a medical professional:
- Failure to diagnose
- Failure to properly treat a condition
- Nursing errors
- Prescription errors
- Surgical errors
Who Can Be Held Liable for Medical Malpractice?
In Tennessee, a medical malpractice claim can be brought against any medical professional that agreed to treat you but provided you with substandard care, including:
- Health care facilities, such as a hospital
- Medical practices
Our attorneys are ready to hold any medical practitioner legally accountable if his or her negligence causes you or someone you love to suffer.
How Long You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Case in Tennessee
Under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 29-26-116, you have one year from the date of injury to bring a medical malpractice claim. However, if you are not immediately aware of your injury, the statute of limitations, or deadline to file a claim, will begin on the date you first discovered, or reasonably should have discovered, your injury. No claims can be filed more than three years after discovering an act of medical negligence.
If you fail to follow this strict deadline, you lose all rights to recover damages from the at-fault party. There are, however, exceptions that could alter the statute of limitations.
The deadline may be extended if the victim is a minor under the age of 18 or if the court finds him or her to be mentally incompetent.
The statute of limitations will be delayed and not begin until the victim turns 18 years old or is once again considered mentally competent.
Another exception to the statute of limitations is when a claim involves fraudulent concealment on the part of the at-fault party or when a foreign object has been negligently left in the victim’s body.
If your claim involves either of these scenarios, you will have one year to file a claim once the negligent act has been discovered even if it is more than three years after the incident.
Contact Our Malpractice Attorneys Today
Now If you or someone you love has suffered because of a medical professional’s negligence, contact a Knoxville personal injury attorney from Greg Coleman Law for a free, no obligation consultation.
We will review your claim to determine if you have a case that entitles compensation. We will then work to construct a case that supports your claim.
All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means we only require payment if we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.